NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 20: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Minnesota Wild at the Prudential Center on March 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Wild 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Often brutally honest Jagr ‘proud’ of Devils

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New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr doesn’t feel inclined to always put a positive spin on things. The latest example of that came on Monday when Jagr bashed the Devils’ “preseason” effort in a game they won 6-3.

So when he does praise his teammates, as he did after the Devils’ critical 2-1 victory over Washington, you can take his statements as genuine.

New Jersey’s win was particularly impressive because the team lost Patrik Elias in the first period. Forwards Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson were also hurt during the contest.

“That’s probably the toughest and best win we’ve had so far, the way I look at it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “When we have to win, guys went down, we have a lot of new guys and we did it.

“I’m proud of our team tonight.”

The Devils have gotten nine out of a possible 12 points over their last six games, with all of their missed points stemming from shootout losses. The hole they put themselves in was massive though and they are consequently still three points out of a playoff spot with just five games left.

Still, it wasn’t long ago that they looked dead and they’ve managed to hold onto a glimmer of hope. The Devils will play against Carolina tonight.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: